Charles Leclerc to enjoy performance clauses in Ferrari deal

Jaden Diaz

Charles Leclerc is newly committed to Ferrari on a multi-year deal, but this does not mean there are no stipulations in his contract. As is often the case in Formula 1, performance will dictate the duration of this driver-team partnership.

As the 2023 season drew to a close, there were few doubts that Leclerc and Ferrari would extend their partnership. Despite the frustrations and trials of recent years, both sides were keen to continue their journey together.

Both from a pragmatic and sentimental standpoint, the Italian outfit was the best option for the 26-year-old. A move to another front-runner like Red Bull or Mercedes is simply unrealistic, at least in the next few seasons.

For all the Ferrari’s faults, they have been the second-best outfit since the 2022 regulation changes. Moving forward, the 5-time race winner can still secure significant silverware until the next regulatory reset.

It is in 2026, when the regulations change once again, that things become particularly interesting. Across the field, uncertainty will be the common denominator.

Even established manufacturers like Mercedes and Ferrari will be difficult to gauge with a fresh set of engines. Everything will be unknown, making it almost impossible for drivers to plan career moves beyond this point.

Contract details

As a result, most drivers are intentionally working towards having flexibility in 2026. Perhaps intentionally, the Maranello-based outfit has not specified the length of Leclerc’s new contract.

However, it is understood that his contract goes beyond 2026. Despite this, there will be protections to ensure that certain performance targets are met.

Leclerc is understood to have performance clauses in his contract, which give him the option to explore other options if the Scuderia underperforms beyond 2026.

As the saying goes, you cannot have your cake and eat it. For Fred Vasseur’s team, keeping Leclerc indefinitely without a jump in performance is impossible.

For the medium term, however, the Italian outfit can work to put credit in the bank and ensure they can leave their star talent with no doubts about future.

Author: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang